Psychedelic Summer of Love

This year marks the 50th anniversary of 1967’s famous Summer of Love in San Francisco. The Summer of Love attracted hundreds of thousands of people in the Haight-Ashbury district to bring about the popularization of psychedelic and hippie fashion, art and music, not only in America, but also all over the world.

During 1967, America was at war in Vietnam and the people who participated in the Summer of Love were strongly against the violence taking place. They actively encouraged peace and love, which helped form the hippie ideals we are familiar with today. Luckily, I grew up in Northern California, an hour and a half away from San Francisco. I was able to explore and learn about the wonders that have come from Haight-Ashbury firsthand. After countless visits to the area itself, going to the de Young Museum’s Summer of Love exhibit, and watching documentaries on musicians that were popular during that time, I grew an unfathomable love for the music and culture that sprung from the Summer of Love.

Inspired by the effects of psychedelic culture, psychedelic music often featured long guitar solos, electric sounds, blues, jazz and folk influences in order to enhance the experience of reality. Though there were many musical talents associated with the popularization of psychedelic music during this time, a few notable ones include the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Big Brother and the Holding Company (Janis Joplin). All these artists, along with many more, performed at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967, which helped secure the popularity of psychedelic music for decades to come.

Fifty years later, the Summer of Love of 1967 continues to influence what we see in contemporary pop culture, whether we notice it or not. You’d be surprised at how much of it is woven into your daily life. If you’ve ever been interested in the origins of psychedelic music and hippie culture, I encourage you to look into it and find out where it all comes from.

Honestly, you may even fall in love with all of it, just like I did.

The Garden at The Irenic

After seeing The Garden for the first time at the SOMA in San Diego with The Frights’ YOU ARE GOING 2 HATE THIS FEST back in February, I fell in love with the musically talented twins, Wyatt and Fletcher. They have an energetic stage presence, unique musical sound and one-of-a-kind style. So, when I heard they were going to come to San Diego on tour, I bought a ticket as soon as possible. Then, on Sunday, Oct. 8, The Garden played a show at The Irenic in North Park.

The Garden have coined their own genre, which they call “vada vada.” Wyatt describes it as, “an idea that represents pure creative expression, that disregards all previously made genres and ideals.”

This show was a part of The Garden’s ongoing North American tour. It started back in September, when they opened for Mac Demarco.

Besides being in The Garden, both twins have invested time into their own solo projects, creating other musical styles of their own and showcasing their individual talents and creative visions. Fletcher’s band is called Puzzle and Wyatt’s is called Enjoy.

Their show at The Irenic was high-energy, lively and extremely sweaty.

A local alternative San Diego band, Fake Tides opened for The Garden with a 40 minute set and got us hyped for Wyatt and Fletcher to take the stage.

The Garden kicked off their set with a song from their 2015 album, “haha,” called “Red Green Yellow.” Fans were already getting wild in the mosh pit and crowd surfing. Throughout the night, they also played songs off their most recent EP, “U Want the Scoop?” and previous albums. They managed to keep the entire crowd pumped during their entire hour and a half set.

Tickets were $14 and were well worth it, considering how much fun we had that night. We would definitely love to see The Garden again whenever they come back to San Diego.

What I’ve Been Listening To

For the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 4, my playlist has been a mix of alternative R&B, electronic music, alternative rock and reggae, and pays tribute to the late legend, Tom Petty. Predominantly, I’ve been listening to Nick Hakim, Moses Sumney and James Blake, who all have voices and musical elements that make them similar in my opinion. All three have soft and silky vocals, and mellow instrumentals to compliment their voices.

Hakim’s album “Green Twins” is full of beautiful lyricism and amazing piano features. “Aromanticism” is a “concept album about lovelessness as a sonic dreamscape,” Sumney stated in a blog post earlier this year. Its poetic lyrics and strong emotion make it a great album to listen to late at night. Although James Blake has not released new music recently, I’ve been constantly repeating his 2013 album “Overgrown” which features several genres of music. From dubstep and gospel choirs, to piano and multiple types of electronic styles, this album has it all.

Also in my playlist is Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers to pay tribute to the rock & roll legend, Tom Petty (who passed away due to a heart attack this week), Young the Giant (an alternative rock band from California), Washed Out (a chillwave/synth-pop artist under a stage name), D’Angelo (the R&B legend), Chronixx (a reggae group from Jamaica I discovered this week at a concert) and one of my newer favorite groups, The Garden.

Although these artists are quite different from each other, I’ve been listening to them the most this past week. I compiled a playlist that includes some of my favorite tracks from each one. You can follow and search for this collection by typing in my username “ACJUAT” on Apple Music. I’m also working on converting this playlist to Spotify which you can also follow by searching “urbanpoutfitters”.

The Fleet Foxes’ Concert Experience

After frantically refreshing my laptop screen on Thursday, April 5 at precisely 10 a.m. and entering the pre-sale code, “MEMPHIS,” I was saddened and surprised to find out that the Fleet Foxes’ tickets I was desperately trying to acquire were already sold out. Even after tickets went on sale to the general public, they were nowhere to be found. But, after missing their performance at Outside Lands in San Francisco this August and hearing about my close friend’s awesome experience at a show in Philly, I had to bite the bullet. So, finally, my best friend and I bought our tickets second-hand and saw Fleet Foxes and their opener Natalie Prass last Thursday, Sept. 21 at the Observatory in North Park.

Though I had never listened to Natalie Prass prior to seeing her live, I found her voice to be cute and dainty. She was a suitable opener for Fleet Foxes. Now, comparing her live performance to her studio recordings, I prefer her voice live because I could hear the inflection and emotion more clearly. And, the live instruments complemented her well.

When Fleet Foxes finally took the stage, they opened with “I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar” from their new album, “Crack-Up.” And, they sounded even better live, which amazed me to an unfathomable degree. Each band member changed instruments a multitude of times (I definitely lost track). What surprised me the most was the difference between Fleet Foxes’ studio recordings and hearing them live. Though I can still appreciate the different sounds and instruments in the songs when I listen to their records, it was a completely separate experience being able to see those components come to life in concert.

As the show came to a close, the band performed “Helplessness Blues,” “Montezuma” and “Oliver James.” They played their album’s title track, “Crack-Up,” for the encore. The combination of each members’ instrumental talent and Robin Pecknold (lead singer) and Christian Wargo’s (bassist) harmonies took me on a two-and-a-half-hour long journey through sunny orchards, tall trees and “Blue Ridge Mountains.” Overall, the $95 I spent on my ticket was completely worth it, and if my broke college student budget allows it I would jump at the chance to see Fleet Foxes live again.